The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) is calling on the 2023-24 Budget to urgently address the cost of living crisis by raising JobSeeker to at least $76 a day while improving the energy efficiency of low-income homes and investing in social housing.

The group also argued the Budget must build the foundations for a more inclusive future by raising the revenue Australia needs to fund essential services over the long term.

These demands are part of ACOSS’s Federal Budget submission released today. The Australian Government will table the Budget in May.

ACOSS is calling for a Federal Budget that:

  • Builds a social security system that meets need: Lift base rates of income support payments like JobSeeker and Youth Allowance to the same level as the single pension ($513 per week, including pension supplement) and index all working-age payments twice per year in line with Consumer Price Index (CPI) and wages.
  • Creates a fairer tax system that supports services, safety nets and economic development: Do not proceed with the 2024-25 income tax cuts.
  • Invests in quality community services to help people in need: Apply proper and transparent indexation to community services funding and invest in service needs mapping as first step towards needs-based funding.
  • Outlines fair, fast and inclusive action on climate change: Invest in energy efficiency improvements for low-income homes to cut emissions and energy bills and create thousands of local jobs.
  • Provides employment opportunities for all: Commit to full employment through a full employment target agreed between the Government and the Reserve Bank of Australia and Introduce a flexible Jobs and Training Offer for people unemployed long-term.
  • Makes housing affordable: should build on the housing policy and institutional foundations being established by committing to a 10 year, 25,000 dwelling per year pipeline of social housing investment and benchmark Rent Assistance for private tenants with low incomes to actual rents.



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